01 Dec 2018

Success for Spain, the top seeded combination formed by Marc Gutierrez, Francisco Miguel Ruiz and Alberto Lillo duly vindicated their billing to win the Junior Boys’ Team title at the 2018 Portugal Junior and Cadet Open in Guimarães on Friday 30th November.

However, they had a real scare; a bronze medal was very nearly their lot.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A three-nil win in opposition to the no.11 seeds, the French combination of Antoine Doyen, Enzo Leguistin and Louis Rousseau commenced the quest for gold on the concluding day of play.

In the next round against the no.3 seeds, the combination of the Czech Republic’s Radim Bako and Frantisek Onderka who joined forces with Aleksandr Kraskovski proved a very different proposition.

After the opening two matches, the champions elect faced defeat; Marc Gutierrez lost to Frantizek Onderka (11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7), before Alberto Lillo experienced the same fate at the hands of Radim Bako (11-13, 11-8, 14-12, 8-11, 11-9). It was at that stage the recovery began. Francisco Miguel Ruiz beat Aleksandr Kraskovski (11-4, 11-8, 11-9), before Alberto Lillo prevailed in what proved the crucial match of the fixture. He recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Frantisek Onderka by the very narrowest of margins (11-13, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9); Marc Gutierrez concluded the fightback by defeating Radim Bako (13-11, 11-3, 11-9).

Success and a place in the final where familiar foes awaited; they beat the no.8 seeds, compatriots Albert Vilardell, Miguel Nuñez and Diego Salazar by three matches to nil.

Furthermore, the eighth seeds were in form; at the quarter-final stage they had recorded a three-two win in opposition to the no.2 seeds, the Portuguese combination of Gonçalo Gomes, Samuel da Silva and Tiago Li. Backbone of the success was Miguel Nuñez; he accounted for both Samuel da Silva (11-5, 11-7, 11-7) and Gonçalo Gomes (11-8, 11-4, 13-11) to set the scene for Albert Vilardell to be the hero of the hour. He duly obliged but it was close; he needed the full five games to beat Samuel da Silva (9-11, 11-4, 4-11, 14-12, 11-7).

Hard fought quarter-final success; in the penultimate round life was less fraught for the eventual silver medallists, a three-nil win was posted in opposition to the no.4 seeds, the outfit formed by India’s Deepit Patil who teamed with Chile’s Gustavo Castillo and Andres Martinez.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Portugal Junior & Cadet Open Francisco Miguel Ruiz Alberto Lillo Marc Gutierrez

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